The Poetry of Catie Rosemurgy
Comments by J. Zimmerman

Time Line.


2010: The Stranger Manual

Favorite poems include "The Groundwork" (p. 25), which ends:

... The night loves you

and is pressing its blue-black heart against the glass.
You've been taken away from something enlarged with need
and caused it to sing as well.

"Miss Peach Visits her Ex-Boyfriends in the Hospital" (p. 29-30), which ends:

Besides that's what love is, after all, isn't it?
The nagging, guilty feeling you get after
you wish someone were dead.   

and "The Stranger Manual" (p. 90), which begins:

Try having a home exclamatory with lit windows and try
to be what is lighting these windows. Try new curtains. Try to be
what is new about the curtains.   

The most inspiring poem for me is "Variorum" (p. 81). [In literature, a variorum is an edition that contains multiple versions of a text, often with notes and commentaries by several editors or critics (variorum being Latin for "of various persons").] In her 15-line poem, each line serves as a different commentary on a single hypothetical text. The opening, middle, and closing lines are:

At least most of the violence has been off the page.
Most of the violence, at least, has been kept off the page.
The violence thus far has been implied.
As usual, most violence happens off the page.
As usual, the page. Mostly the violence.     

This poem let me realize that much of my haiku-writing practice is a variorum, leading to my article published as "The Variorum Project — Haiku Variations" in A Hundred Gourds. I include selections from my "'The Water Protectors' Variorum", an assemblage of haiku from the thirty-plus that I wrote in response to Odd Nerdrum's painting "The Water Protectors". The juxtaposition of haiku gives a collaged sense that is much richer than each haiku by itself. I also include a small variorum on one particularly well-known haiku by Bashō.

Time Line

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Her poem "Mostly Mick Jagger" published in The Best American Poetry 1997, edited by James Tate (series editor David Lehman). [First published in The Cream City Review.]

Published poetry collection My Favorite Apocalypse.

Published poetry collection The Stranger Manual.

Links and Books.

[Thanks for visiting.]